A bit rainy & gray
Caught on the kiss-cam
From where I sat, I could see the windows of my undergrad freshman, sophomore, and junior year dorms 😭😭😭
2022 // 2014
*CLAIRE COMMENCEMENT MAYBE* calendar alert
A photo I took in 2012 of the animation “I Found Myself Alone” (2008)
And here’s Ziggy absolutely riveted by the video. Count him a fan of Djurberg too
I went on a long hike with some friends recently and found this trick as I was walking around. I was carrying something in my left hand, so I kept trying to find one-handed yo-yo tricks I could do with my right hand. I ended up finding a nice back-of-the-hand stall that also worked well with a responsive/counterweight set up.Here’s a look at just the stall
These types of back of the hand stalls aren’t knew, I just like the aerial toss into a stall. You can see another version a counterweight back of the hand stall in this old video of mine too (around three minutes in).
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
an example of how teen girls instinctively felt that there was something wrong in the world, but lacked access to a vocabulary or knowledge to accurately describe it. Instead, they performed fangirlishness as a socially acceptable mode of resisting and expressing their frustration, their dissatisfaction...the hysteria and projective violence of extreme fangirlishness as a sublimation of an emergent revolutionary spirit.
Among the biggest surprises for me in recent years has been the discovery of a new and undramatic happiness. I'm basically a believer in temperament, that our emotional thermostats are set early in life, and that despite passing peaks and valleys, they're more or less fixed. But life with my partner, in which the first and last act of each day is a habitual acknowledgment of love—a hug, a caress—has caused a minor but durable shift in the weather, a warming of the air by a degree or two.
I fully cleaned house on that type of behavior. I make sure that, at this point in my life, I just don't fuck with chaos.
Dr. Strange is an older trick of mine that I thought I should start doing again since there’s a whole Dr. Strange movie happening now.
The post Performing Dr. Strange while listening to “People Are Strange” and using a Dr. Strange filter appeared first on Doc Pop's Weblog.
I had the good fortune of catching Maz Karandish & Alexander Karvelas, along with their tabla player, performing an evening of ancestral music from India, Persia, Turkey, and Greece. This was part of a Groupmuse event in the Oakland hills – notable for being the first event put on by that organization that strayed from the Classical European Chamber Music tradition. The performers were fantastic, including the dancers for many of the Turkish and Greek songs, and I was happy to see an organization like Groupmuse offering a diversity of voices as a direct result of the George Floyd murder and resulting protests.
I recently presented an introduction to retrospectives at Vanta as a tool for teams to use in a hypergrowth environment. The presentation was well-received, so I’ve converted it into a post in it’s interesting to others, too!
Companies that are growing as quickly as Vanta are moving fast and need to move even faster to build their presence in the market.
In this environment, these two things are true:
We must embrace these truths, expect change, and anticipate the continual need to adapt. Retrospectives are a tool to discover opportunities for improvement both retroactively and proactively.
In Engineering, we use two types of retrospectives:
Quality is a choice that trades off against speed. The best way to ship a product with no defects is not to ship a product at all. We’re moving fast and shipping a lot, and sometimes, things don’t go as planned.
When something goes wrong, the root cause is rarely pure human error. We need a depersonalized and blameless way to reflect and identify improvements to our processes and tools to learn from our mistakes and to prevent them from happening again. Framing incident retrospectives as blameless is essential – blameless retrospectives encourage honesty and lead to meaningful improvements. In contrast, creating a culture where it’s not OK to make mistakes discourages surfacing and addressing real issues.
We have an incident playbook to identify incidents, resolve them, and communicate internally and externally. When an incident is resolved, we have a retrospective template that covers, roughly:
Every two weeks, leadership from Engineering and Customer Experience reviews these retrospective documents to coach the team in diagnosing root cause issues and to ensure that we have appropriate action items moving forward. While it’s OK to make mistakes, we must use these opportunities to learn from them going forward, and this is the forum to ensure that that happens.
We often say that “every week is a new week at Vanta.” It’s true! We’re growing our customer base and team very quickly, and we’re building this rocketship while flying it. One of Vanta’s principles is bias for action, commit to iteration, essentially acknowledging how fast we’re moving and embracing evolving how we work.
A tool we use to identify improvements proactively is the team retrospective. Essentially, we’re assessing how we work today and identifying potential improvements before things break.
On a ~monthly basis, Engineering teams dedicate time to reflect on projects, processes, and working relationships to identify opportunities for improvement.
Teams can run retrospectives however they’d like. Our default format is:
Like incident retrospectives, effective team retrospectives are depersonalized and blameless. When a team ritual grows stale, it doesn’t matter who came up with that idea in the first place. It’s broken, so rip it out, try something new, and move forward. Depersonalizing decisions encourages more people to volunteer suggestions, and a team that incorporates more opinions and feedback almost always delivers better outcomes.
One secret benefit of running team retrospectives run well is that teammates have a venue in which to surface their complaints. When someone brings up constructive feedback for how we work in a 1:1, I direct them to the next retrospective where the whole team can hear it. If others agree, great, let’s fix it! If the team decides to prioritize other improvements, they’ll see that in a way that’s fair and transparent.
So that’s it! I hope you find these tools useful. Next time something breaks, consider running an incident retrospective to avoid making the same mistake again. Next time someone thinks your team’s processes feel stale or inefficient (spoiler: this is often in a high-growth environment), consider running a team retrospective to identify improvements.
Don’t squander a good mistake, no matter how small or spectacular; take advantage of opportunities to learn and improve! Remember, blameless retrospectives encourage honesty and lead to real improvements.
Buggin’ Out West Coast Style
Feat. The Sweetest Lil’ Witch
Something cool happened recently, I was inducted into the National Yo-Yo Hall of Fame. I even got a cool plaque!They also made this short video about me:
Here’s the longer video with all of the 2021 National Yo-Yo Hall Of Fame inductees:
weeding is an interesting practice that I've spent a lot of time thinking about, especially while I was doing the mindless, repetitive work of...weeding. At the end of the day, I found it meditative, relaxing, stress-relieving. I came to really rely on weeding almost as a ritual by the end of my time in Connecticut.
what a difference a week makes...different areas on the High Line, but the same plant before and after cutback + some sun
We had a great time at Hunky Jesus today in Dolores Park. Steen wore her Romulan outfit and I just wore a green sweater. We saw tons of old friends in the park and had about 8 folks in our group watching the event.It was actually my second day hanging out at Dolores this weekend. Yesterday’s yo-yo meet up was a ton of fun.
fun friend food
a rough week for our friend ziggy
An ever so brief moment of peace and quiet
I started this week as a volunteer Horticulture Partner at the High Line! I’ll be working for a shift each week out in the sun with plants and soil and gardeners in a place that has been my go-to green space in NY 🌱🌲🌿🌾
TROPIC ZONE: THE RAINFOREST @ the Central Park Zoo
Baby Yoda pancake made with Partake Waffle/Pancake Mix 💕
Doggy on a train. Still not having a great time, but it’s getting better 😭
Guess where we are guess where we’re going guess which chip flavor is whose
Ramadan Mubarak, Chag Pesach sameach, happy Easter
Sunrise to sunset
Screenshots from a 2000 performance by the Joffrey Ballet, staged by Anna Markard (the daughter of Kurt Joos)
discussions between diplomats and politicians, some civil, some uncivil, at The Green Table
conscripts heading to battle, saying their farewells while Death looms
fighting; then a profiteer in a bowler hat strips dead soldiers of their valuables
the toll of war on more innocents, civilian women at home. Death appears and takes a soul
the profiteer approaches the women when they are at their most vulnerable
a rebel at the home front
she successfully takes the life of an enemy soldier
and pays with her own
the profiteer prostitutes refugee women
one of the prostituted women succumbs to, and is relieved by, Death
a soldier fights bravely,
but eventually dies
a parade of all who have gone with Death. No one is safe, not even the profiteer
as the grave toll of the war mounts, diplomats continue diplomating. And the ballet concludes
"The music is different here, the vibrations are different, not like planet Earth. Planet Earth sounds of guns, anger, and frustration. There's no one to talk to on Planet Earth that understands. We'll set up a colony for Black people here, see what they can do on a planet all their own, without any white people there. They could drink in the beauty of this planet, it would affect their vibrations, for the better of course. Another place in the universe, up under different stars...or better still, teleport the whole planet here through music"
a Tarot card-based card game, a cosmic showdown between Sun Ra and the Overseer
♪ "if you find earth boring / just the same old, same thing / Come on sign up with / Outer Spaceways, Incorporated" ♪
the woefully ill-suited applicants
rescued by the youth
The newest episode of my PopCast Yo-Yo vlog is all about a yo-yo trick called Parkour. I got carried away and wrote a little jingle for the trick too, which you can hear in this short clip:
You can watch the full PopCast video here:
The Foo Fighter’s “Everlong” is one hell of a song, but it also happens to be one of my favorite music videos of all time too. I had been meaning to write a post about it for a while, but with the recent passing of Taylor Hawkins, the band’s drummer, it seemed like a good time to look at this song again.
The music video for “Everlong” was directed by Michel Gondry. The video stars the band members and uses practical effects to pay homage to classic horror films. Pat Smear and Nate Mendel play the villains in Teddy Boy style clothes. Dave Grohl plays the hero of this video and Taylor Hawkins plays the role of the heroine. Taylor joined the band after this album was finished, so what we are actually hearing is Grohl’s drumming on this song. If you are interested in reading about all of the references packed into the video, check out this article on Kerrang.
Dave Grohl wrote the Everlong riff between recording sessions. He dug the riff, but was worried at first it sounded too much like a Sonic Youth song. I never picked up on that before, but I can totally hear it. When he played the song for members of Sonic Youth they were very encouraging.
“Everlong” is often considered the Foo Fighter’s biggest hit, but apparently it wasn’t as big a hit when it first came out. Despite the killer video, the song only had modest success until about a year later when Grohl made an appearance on the Howard Stern show. Stern requested “Everlong” so Grohl did a stripped down acoustic version of the song on the show. It was the success of that appearance that breathed new life back into this song and cemented it as a hit.
The Foo Fighters were the musical guest on the final episode of The Letterman show. During their appearance they played “Everlong”.